United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. Grimm, United States District Judge
Matthew Wade filed this civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging various claims under the Eighth
Amendment. ECF No. 1. Defendants Warden Kathleen Green,
Assistant Warden Robert Hanke, Correctional Officer
Christopher Cavins, Lt. K. Stuckey, and Sgt. Muncey
(“Correctional Defendants”) filed a Motion to
Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment,
ECF No. 13, and a Memorandum in Support, ECF No. 13-2.
Defendants Registered Nurse Melanie Griffin and Wexford
Health Sources, Inc. (“Medical Defendants”) also
filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for
Summary Judgment, ECF No. 30, and a Memorandum in Support,
ECF No. 30-3. Plaintiff has responded to both Motions. ECF
Nos. 26, 26-2, 34. Defendants have not filed a reply, and the
time for doing so has passed. See Loc. R. 105.2(a).
The matter is now ripe for review. A hearing is not
necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6.
reasons that follow, Correctional Defendants' dispositive
Motion, construed as a Motion for Summary Judgment, is
GRANTED as to Defendants Green, Hanke, and Stuckey and DENIED
as to Defendants Cavins and Muncey. Medical Defendants'
Motion, also construed as a Motion for Summary Judgment, is
GRANTED as to Wexford Health Sources and DENIED as to
Griffin. The Court will appoint counsel to represent
sworn Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that, upon being
transferred to ECI on December 29, 2014, he was informed by
Officer in Charge Andrade that he would be assigned to
Housing Unit 6D. Compl. 3; see also Pl.'s Decl.,
ECF No. 26-3 (reiterating many of the facts stated in the
Complaint). Plaintiff believed that he had enemies in Unit
6D, although he did not know their names. Compl. 3. Plaintiff
informed Andrade that, although he did not want to be
noncompliant, he was refusing to be housed in Unit 6D.
Id. Plaintiff asked to speak with a supervisor
outside of the presence of the other inmates on Unit 6D.
Id. Andrade acceded to his request and took
Plaintiff to speak with Defendant Cavins that same day.
Id. at 3-4.
asked Plaintiff why he was refusing housing and Plaintiff
“inform[ed] Cavins that there are two inmates that are
housed in unit 6 D tier that are his enemies.”
Id. at 4. At Cavins' request, Plaintiff made a
written statement about his concerns with Unit 6D.
Id. In its entirety, the statement read: “I
been housed in housing unit 6, unfortunately I made some
enemies!! I don't feel comfortable being housed there.
It's not a good way to start my stay here at ECI.”
Pl.'s Stmt. 3, ECF No. 1-1.
issued a notice of inmate rule violation on December 29,
2014, which Cavins “approved and signed, ”
charging Plaintiff with disobeying an order and refusing to
accept a housing assignment. Compl. 4; Notice of Violation,
ECF No. 1-2. Due to the disciplinary charges, Plaintiff was
“escorted to disciplinary segregation, ” where he
spent the next “four weeks in solitary confinement
locked in a cell 23 hours a day pending an adjustment
hearing.” Compl. 4.
January 28, 2015, Plaintiff's disciplinary hearing was
held for the December 29, 2014 charges. Defendant Muncey was
the facility representative; Scott Rowe (who is not named as
a Defendant) was the hearing officer and conducted the
hearing using video conferencing. Id. at 5.
Plaintiff alleges that,
[b]efore the hearing took place, the plaintiff and defendant
Muncey had a brief conversation regarding a plea agreement.
Plaintiff Wade informed Muncey that he is pleading not guilty
to the rule violations because he practically begged the
officers that day to not send him to unit 6 specifically D
tier because of the risks of being seriously harmed by
. . . Documentation shows that Plaintiff informed Muncey that
he is unable to provide both first and last names of his
enemies but is very familiar with their alias (nicknames).
Plaintiff made it clear that he is very aware of his
enemies['] housing location because
plaintiff recently was housed in Unit 6 D tier approx. 18
months prior. Muncey however failed to cooperate with
plaintiff and utilize other methods to help positively
identify his enemies to help his unsafe situation. Plaintiff
expressed and was reasonably convincing to Muncey that there
is a strong likely hood [sic] that violence would occur and
he would be harmed even killed if housed in Unit 6 D tier. .
Furthermore, plaintiff Wade explained to both Muncey and
Scott Rowe . . . that he was once a suspect in a particular
criminal investigation in which a man died. Plaintiff offered
Muncey a chance to read paperwork to support his explanation
but Muncey declined to. Plaintiff stated that the victim in
that case and his enemies are close relatives. Plaintiff also
stated that this is a retaliation situation because his
enemies are convinced that he was a suspect and therefore
Id. at 5-6. Despite Plaintiff's stated concerns
for his safety, Muncey failed to investigate or
“respond reasonably” to Plaintiff's
allegations regarding his enemies in housing unit 6D.
Id. at 6.
after his disciplinary hearing, Plaintiff was returned to
general population. Plaintiff was informed by an unspecified
officer that he would be placed in housing unit 6D.
Id. Plaintiff states that he “questioned the
officer to see if he heard him correctly because plaintiff
just spent the past four weeks locked down . . . to avoid
that particular unit and tier because of safety reasons.
Plaintiff was confused because officers are aware of his
concerns for his safety.” Id. The officer
confirmed that Plaintiff would be placed in housing unit 6D.
Id. Plaintiff does not state that the officer
personally had pre-existing awareness of Plaintiff's
safety concerns, nor does Plaintiff state that he personally
informed the officer about his concerns.
was placed in housing unit 6D where, on February 13, 2015,
“he was attacked by two enemies whom plaintiff made
prison officials aware of.” Id. Plaintiff
reports that he was violently assaulted to the point of
unconsciousness and that he sustained “several
injuries” that he still suffered from at the time he
filed suit in late 2017. Id.
the assault, Plaintiff was taken to the medical department,
where he was seen by Defendant Nurse Melanie Griffin.
Id. Plaintiff alleges that Griffin “very
quickly scanned Wade's head and face only. Griffin failed
to observe Wade's assault wounds that were beneath his
clothing. Griffin failed to notice physical multiple [sic]
contusions and multiple abrasions and swelling.”
Id. at 6-7. Plaintiff informed
Griffin that his pain was a 10 “on a scale of 1 through
10, ” and asked to go to the hospital. Id. at
7. Griffin denied his request, and informed Plaintiff that no
doctor would be at the facility for the next three days.
Id. Plaintiff claims that Griffin ignored Wade's
constant complaints of pain to his shoulder, lower back and
head area. Griffin then gave Wade paperwork so that he could
receive ice twice a day for the next 3 days until the doctor
was available. Griffin also gave Wade only one pain reliever
for all his injuries.
Id.; see also Med. Assignment, ECF No. 1-7.
being seen by Griffin, Plaintiff “was escorted to the
rear of the Medical Department and placed in a[n] observation
cell. Per defendant K. Stuckey, Wade was placed on admin.
segregation and informed that he would be seen against within
96 hours.” Compl. 7; Notice of Assignment, ECF No. 1-8.
Plaintiff claims that inmates on the ordinary administrative
segregation unit are allowed appliances and other personal
property but that he was not allowed such items,
“without any penological justification.” Compl.
7. Plaintiff further alleges that Stuckey's decision to
place him in the observation cell “wasn't warranted
by any reasonable penological or psychological interest,
causing plaintiff Wade increase[d] stress.”
Id. at 8.
alleges that he remained in the observation cell for eight
days. He states that, during this time, he was denied ice,
pain medication, and medical treatment, despite the fact that
the observation cell was located within the medical
department. Id. He describes the conditions of the
cell as “intolerable, ” stating that “he
was forced to live alone in a dark empty cell that exposed
him to very cold temperatures” and lacked
“personal amenities.” Id. Plaintiff
states that his “complaints and concerns to [unnamed]
corr. officers fell on dea[f] ears.” Id.
submitted a sick call request on February 19, 2015, but he
was not seen by medical personnel until five days later.
Id. at 8-9; Sick Call Request, ECF No. 1-9. At that
time, eleven days after the assault, an unnamed medical
provider noted that plaintiff still had swelling but did not
provide any medication. Compl. 9; Feb. 24, 2015 Med. Rec.,
ECF No. 1-13 (stating that he would be “refer[red] to
pa [physician's assistant] for further eval”). On
March 5, 2015, several days after Plaintiff initiated an
administrative grievance with the prison, he was seen by
Nurse Practioner Kathleen Storm, who informed Plaintiff that
Griffin had “failed to put in necessary paperwork for
plaintiff to see a doctor.” Compl. 9; see also